Shravana Shukla 14 Vik Samvat 2069. Yugabda 5114: August 1, 2012

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No. Sm1209/2069 (For Private Circulation Only)                   Shravana Shukla 14 Vik Samvat 2069. Yugabda 5114
Tel: 91-11- 23684445; Fax: 91-11-23517722                                                                                                   1  August 2012

1.                  FESTIVALS: Purushottam Maas: A solar year consists of 365.25 days while a lunar year consists of 354.36 days. To bring parity, an extra month is added after about 32 months in the lunar calendar. This extra month finds mention in Aithreya Brahmana, Taitreya Samhita Rigveda, Atharvaveda etc.  According to a legend, this extra month went to Bhagwan Vishnu and requested him to provide a Lord to him also since every month, nakshatra and day are devoted to one or the other Lord, it did not have any. Lord Vishnu granted the wish and said: “You will be known by my name, Purushottam”. Since then this month is known as Purushottam maas and Lord Vishnu is the Lord of it. It is also known as Adhik Mass, Mal Maas, Adhimaas, Malimaluch, Sansarpa or Ahansapati Maas. Charity, donation, homas are performed during this month. Auspicious works such as marriage, mundan etc are prohibited during this month. There is an extra Bhadra in Vikrami 2069, corresponding to August 18 to September 17.
2.                  Ekal to Olympics: Ekal student, Pinki Karmakar, ran for Bharat with London Olympic Torch in Nottingham Square on June 28. Seventeen year old Pinki Karmakar is a student of class X in Barbaruah Tea State High School of Dibrugarh district, Assam. Pinki started her journey from Ekal Vidyalaya in Barbaruah Tea village of Dibrugarh. “It was the only running school in my village then,” she said.
Pinki’s father, Rajan Karmakar, is a painter in a factory and mother Leela Rajvar plucks tea leaves. Among five sisters and one brother, Pinki is the brightest. Pinki practises sports under the project “Sports for Development” of UNICEF. She was selected on her merit to run with Olympic Torch. Pinki is proud of her country. The whole village is proud of her. Pinki told the media, “I am elated. It is due to the Ekal Vidyalaya I have reached here.
3.                  VISHWA SANGH SHIKSHA VARG:  (Dwitiya Varsh) VSSV - 2012 started on July 15th at Chinmay Ashram, Kouva, Trinidad. This 21-day varg is the first such varga outside Bharat. A total of 58 swayamsevaks from 6 countries are participating in the varg. The countries represented are USA, UK, Kenya and Caribbean countries of Suriname, Guyana and Trinidad. The Varg was inaugurated by Swami Prakashanandji of Chinmay Ashram in presence of Swami Aksharanandji – Guyana who is Sarvadhikari for the varg and Arun Kankani – Vice President – Sewa International USA. Swami Prakashanandji detailed the importance of service to humanity and appealed to the participants to remain ‘sachet’ (alert) during the varg. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh Trinidad & Tobago Sanghchalak Shri Deoroop Timal and other office bearers were also present.
This is the 6th VSSV which takes place every 3 or 4 years for volunteers of HSS who finish their 3 Sangh Shiksha Vargas of 7 days in their respective countries. The varg schedule includes shareerik training like Ashtang Yoga, Samata, Dand, Niyuddha and bauddhik programs of important topics on Hindu culture, challenges to youth, modern tools of communication etc. Programs from local cultural groups showing the efforts taken by ‘Jahaji’ Bharatiyas to preserve their culture are also planned. RSS functionaries Sarkaryavaha  Ma. Bhaiyya ji Joshi, Ma. Kannan ji, Ma. Bhagaiah ji, Saumitra ji Gokhale, Ravikumar ji,   Dr. Ram Vaidya ji and Anil Vartak ji will also guide the participants.
4.                  Vishwa Samiti Varg-2012: With a motto “Vayam Vishwa-Shanthai Chiram Yatna Sheelah”, 15-day Vishwa Samiti Varg-2012 was inaugurated at Hubli by Dr Ramachandra Bhat Kotemane, Director, Veda Vijnana Gurukulam, Bangalore on July 24 in august presence of Rashtra Sevika Samiti Akhil Bharatiya Pramukh Kaaryavaahika  Shanthakka, Varg Sarvaadhikaaari Alakaataai Inaamdaar and Kshetriya Pracharak Mangesh Bhende. Organised by Rashtra Sevika Samiti, the Vishwa Samiti Varg is held once in 4 years, and this is the 5th such.
52 delegates from 8 countries are participating in the Varg. An exhibition showcasing ancient Hindu traditions, Bharat’s achievements in science and technology, seva activities by RSS, has been arranged in the Varg.
5.                  ANNA STARTS NEW FAST: Anti-graft activist Anna Hazare, who galvanised the country last year with his hunger strikes against corruption, began a new fast on July 29 to press demands for a crackdown on official graft. Hazare and his supporters want parliament to strengthen a pending anti-corruption bill and the creation of a special team to probe graft allegations against 15 ministers, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The 75-year-old former army truck driver threatened to fast until death if the demands are not met. “I am confident that... the people of my country will not let me die. I draw my strength and confidence from you,” Hazare told several thousand supporters gathered at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.
6.                  HANG ME IF I AM GUILTY, MODI: "Hang me if I am guilty (Main gunehgaar hoon to mujhe phaansi par latkaa do)", said Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to the Urdu weekly Nai Duniya, edited by former Rajya Sabha SP member Shahid Siddiqui. He refused to offer an apology for the 2002 communal violence. He said he wasted no time in calling in the Army to deal with the violence, citing a press communique issued by the state government to buttress his contention.
"On February 27, I told my officers to contact the Army. The Army said all their personnel were deployed at the border because of the Parliament attack...I said those working in certain sectors would definitely not have gone to the border. At least get them here," Modi told Siddiqui adding that he had given "shoot-at-sight" instructions to police to tackle the rioters. To a question that he had ordered inaction for 48 hours, Modi said, "Whoever said that should have faith in the SC. You need to repose faith in someone. SC appointed committee has come out with a report. For the first time a riot was investigated. Faith should be reposed in that." The interview is on the cover of the weekly, and runs into six pages covering post-Godhra riots, the state of Muslims in Gujarat and other sensitive issues.
7.                  RELIGION FOR RATINGS: It’s been apparent for a while now that the country’s electronic media will go to extreme lengths to spice things up. But religion is now fair game too. In yet another example of how the industry’s commercial goals trump ethics, open-mindedness and common sense, on July 24 a television show broadcast an imam leading a Hindu boy through a live conversion to Islam carried out in the studio as part of the show, complete with the audience joining in to suggest Muslim names for the new convert. There is no reason to think the boy was not converting of his own free will, but the whole event had the distinct air of being carried out to give viewers something new and different to watch, even if that meant dragging an intensely personal and spiritual experience into public view. More disturbingly, what the channel obviously didn’t stop to consider is the message this broadcast would send to the country’s minorities. The joy with which the conversion was greeted, and the congratulations that followed, sent a clear signal that other religions don’t enjoy the same status in Pakistan as Islam does. In a country where minorities are already treated as second-class citizens in many ways, this served to marginalise them even further. After the uproar over her pursuit in a park of innocent couples — who she later claimed were actors, making that episode even more questionable — one would think the host and her management would have been more careful with her programming. But then that is the problem with Pakistani media: it is missing a responsibility chip, hurtling ahead with what seems like exciting content without stopping to consider the ethical implications or appropriateness of its programming, or the message it will send to all Pakistanis, not just those it considers the mainstream. – Editorial, The Dawn, Pakistan, July 27, 2012.
8.                  SC forms panel to end Amarnath yatris' woes: Eighty eight deaths so far in this year’s ongoing pilgrimage to the Holy Cave of Amarnath shrine, situated at a height of 13,500 feet in south Kashmir Himalayas, led the Supreme Court on July 20 to constitute a high powered committee (HPC) to undertake remedial steps.
The HPC, chaired by the Jammu and Kashmir Governor, who is also Chairman of the Amarnath Shrine Board (ASB), would submit a report to the court by August 13 on the steps to be taken for widening of existing roads leading to the Holy Cave, segregation of motorised and non-motorised traffic, medical facilities at regular distance along the entire stretch of the yatra, and the impact caused to the environment. The bench of Justices BS Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar issued a slew of directions to the Centre, State Government and ASB in view of the large number of casualties en route the shrine.
9.                  VHP writes to Rashtrapati: Dr Pravin Togadia, Antar-rashtriya Karyakari Adhyaksha, Vishwa Hindu Parishad has written a letter to the Rashtrapati on ethnic cleansing of original tribes, other Hindus & non-Muslims in Assam & current violence there. For the last two decades, Karbi Anglong, Khasi, Dimasa, Bodo, Jaintia & many other local tribes who have made Bharat’s north east eco-friendly with their environmentally simple life styles, who have made Bharat rich with their great art & culture are being brutally attacked, their jungle habitats burnt, their women raped, their men fired at in close range & ultimately they are forced to either die at the hands of Bangla Deshi invaders or leave their age-old traditional habitats.Unfortunately, the Assam’s systematic ethnic cleansing of local tribes, other Hindus & other non-Muslims is being ignored by the authorities knowing fully well that the happenings in Assam are the systematic efforts of Bangla Desh helped by Jehadi elements to create Greater Bangla Desh & socio-politically occupy Assam & many parts of north eastern Bharat. Terror outfits supported by HUJI in Bangla Desh & ISI, Al Qaeda in Pakistan are fully deep-rooted by now in Assam namely like MULTA (Muslim Liberation United Tigers of Assam) & others. VHP has demanded that a Tribunal should immediately be formed to deport all Bangla Deshi Muslim infiltrators from Assam & also from other states in Bharat to prevent further Ethnic Cleansing of Bharat’s own citizens. The tribunal should have members from the Army, those retired & served most part in Assam so that they are well aware of the situation there, the socio-cultural experts to understand the importance of original tribes in Bharat & the legal experts to give justice to all the tribes who have been facing attacks by Bangla Deshis.
10.              HINDU HELP LINE for Assam violence: More than three lakh people have been affected by the sustained and systematic eight days’ violence against original tribes and other Hindus in Assam perpetrated by Bangla Deshi infiltrators settled there.
For the past many years Bangla Deshi infiltrators invaded Bharat from north eastern borders, encroached upon these tribes’ lives, lands & livelihood pushing them more & more away.
Karbi Anglong, Khasi, Bodo, Dimasa, Jaintiya & many such tribes are worse affected.
Hindu Help Line has already a few conveners & volunteers in Assam. They have been trying to reach food, clothes, medicines, water, milk powder, warm clothes etc.
Hindu help Line appeals to all in Bharat & abroad to come ahead in helping Assam’s Original Tribes & other Hindus in this times of crisis. Those who wish to stand by with Hindus there & send aid, can contact or special mobile Number 09825323406 only for Assam Relief Aid.
11.                SEVA BHARATI ASSAM has set up 3 base camps for medical relief exercise, 2 in Kokrajhar and 1 in Gossaigaon. They have pressed 2 ambulances and two teams of doctors and helpers at these camps. Medicines are being given for contagious and water borne diseases. Relief materials which are of immediate importance are being provided in these camps. Mosquito coils, bread, biscuits, bed sheets have been distributed.
12.              Lakshmi Sehgal passes away:  Lakshmi Sehgal, freedom fighter and close associate of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, passed away on July 23 in Kanpur. The 97-year-old who was the first captain of Rani of Jhansi Regiment, the women's wing of Azad Hind Fauj or Indian National Army, had been ailing for some time and was undergoing treatment at the Kanpur Medical Centre. Sehgal was the Left Front candidate in the 2002 presidential election, but she lost to APJ Abdul Kalam. Lakshmi Sahgal was a revolutionist of the Bharatiya independence movement, an officer of the Indian National Army, and the Minister of Women's Affairs in the Azad Hind government. Born in a Tamil Brahmin family in 1914, Lakshmi Swaminathan Sehgal obtained a medical degree and set up a clinic for the poor in Singapore in 1940. She fought the Allied forces in World War-II, commanding Jhansi Rani Laxmi Bai Regiment of INA.
13.              Bal Apte No More: Senior Sangh  ideologue, veteran BJP leader and former Rajya Sabha MP Balwant Parushuram Apte, 73 who was popularly known as Bal Apte, passed away in Mumbai on July 18 following a chronic lung disease. He is survived by his wife and daughter. A lawyer by profession, Bal Apte played a key role in the expansion of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and BJP work in many parts of the country. He was also associated with Overseas Freiends of BJP (OFBJP) activity for couple of year.
In his condolence message, RSS Sarsanghchalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat said, “The first and foremost quality that comes to one’s mind about Apteji is his candid, at times stern but always friendly advice which had played often a stabilising role in many a minds and matters. We have lost that support forever. The pain of that loss we have to bear along with members of his family. While offering my condolences and respects in his revered memory, we also pray for the necessary courage to us all and peace and enlightenment on the path of the departed soul.”
14.              US award for 4 young bharatiya-origin scientists:  US President Barack Obama has named four Bharatiya-American scientists among 96 researchers as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. The awards bestowed on Sridevi Vedula Sarma, Pawan Sinha, Parag A Pathak and Biju Parekkadan is the highest honour given by the US government to science and engineering professionals in early stages of their independent research careers.
"Discoveries in science and technology not only strengthen our economy, they inspire us as a people," Obama said. "The impressive accomplishments of today's awardees so early in their careers promise even greater advances in the years ahead." An associate professor of computational and visual neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sinha received his undergraduate degree in computer science from the IIT-New Delhi and his Masters and doctoral degrees from MIT. Sarma is assistant professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Institute for Computational Medicine at the John Hopkins University. Parekkadan is associated with Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, whereas Parag A Pathak is from the MIT.
15.              14-year-old rescues 3: 14-year-old Sagar  had gone to the Yamuna bank to deliver lunch to his father, who operates a motorboat, and was returning home when he saw Pankaj (15), Gaurav (15), Badal (14) and Deepak (16) in the Agra Canal in Southeast Delhi’s Jaitpur area, screaming for help. “I dived into the canal. I pulled Pankaj, Badal and Gaurav out of the water one by one. But it was too late for Deepak. He was gone. I looked for him for around 30 minutes and then went home,” said the Class VII student of a government school in Jaitpur. A police officer said the four boys, who were cousins, were bathing on the stairs of the 12-feet-deep canal, and slipped into it. Just then Sagar was passing by and he heard their screams.
16.              bharat inducts 3rd indigenous stealth frigate: Defence Minister AK Anatomy on July 21 commissioned the 6,200 tonne warship INS Sahyadri, which is the third and last of the Shivalik-class stealth frigates under Project 17 built indigenously at the Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL), Mumbai. The first two ships in the class are INS Shivalik and INS Satpura that are now on active duty. The three have cost some Rs 10,200 crore and have been commissioned in the past two years.
The INS Sahyadri is an indicator of the generational shift in Bharat’s warship-building capability. The 143m long ship can tactically fire weapons even before the enemy detects it. The warship has long-range surface-to-surface Klub missiles, area defence missiles Shtil and Barak, anti-submarine torpedoes, 100 mm mounted gun and six-barrelled 30 mm gun.
17.              Gandhinagar bharat's tree capital: The latest figures of a census conducted by Gujarat government show that 53.9% of 5,700-hectare area of its capital town Gandhinagar is covered with trees. Effectively, there are 416 trees for every 100 people in the city, which are more than any other city in the country. The census was conducted by the social forestry department along with various municipal corporations and urban development authorities. According to Forest Survey of India, Bangalore, Chandigarh and Delhi have a green cover of 18.9%, 14.9% and 11.9%, respectively. H S Singh, additional principal chief conservator of forests, social forestry, said, "Gandhinagar's tree cover is comparable with the best in the world. Atlanta in the US, for instance, is considered among the greenest cities globally and has exactly the same percentage of land under tree cover as Gandhinagar's."
18.              Set in Stone: In celebration of its 150th year, the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has scheduled a number of activities and events, one of which is an exhibition, titled “Archaeological Survey of India Outside India”, on display at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai. “We need to make people more aware of Bharat’s expertise in archaeology and of the culture in and outside the country,” says AK Sinha, Director (CEP, NCF, Publication), ASI. He adds that even fewer people know of the work conducted outside the country by the ASI.
Among the sites represented in this exhibition are the famous Angkor Wat Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia, Vat Phou Temple in Lao PDR, Laos, and Ananda Temple in Bagan, Myanmar. In 1960, an ASI team travelled to Egypt to begin excavations in the areas around Afyeh and Tumus after the Government of Egypt proposed a dam around the area. The area explored included a cemetery, which when excavated, revealed that a number of graves had been plundered and the team studied the method of disposal.
19.              interlocutors report opposed: "The language of the Interlocutors’ Report is the language of the separatists. It questions the laws which make J&K an integral part of Bharat. It speaks about human rights violation of terrorists but has failed to include the voices of those who have been the real sufferers like those who have migrated from Pakistan,” said Leader of Opposition Smt Sushma Swaraj while addressing a dharna at Jantar Mantar on July 16. The dharna was organised by Jammu-Kashmir People’s Forum to protest against the Interlocutors’ Report. About 3,000 people participated in the dharna.
RSS Akhil Bharatiya Sah Sampark Pramukh Ram Madhav said, “The report is against the spirit of non-negotiable integration of Jammu & Kashmir with India in 1947. Mirpur, Muzaffrabad and Gilgit are ours. This report has included only sentiments of leaders of Kashmir Valley. A report should have the sentiments in it, but it should not be against the Constitution,” he said. He alleged the interlocutors’ report is an attempt to include the voices of those who do not have respect for the Constitution. They have failed to put versions of the refugees, the Kashmiri Pandits, who have been forcefully evicted from their land.
A seminar was organised by India Foundation at India International Centre New Delhi 21.07.2012  on interlocutors report on Jammu and Kashmir. The seminar was well attended by intellectuals from across the country and many retired military officers. Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley was very critical of Justice Sageer Ahmed report which was prepared when Sageer Ahmed was ailing. The report was submitted to State Government after his death without placing it before the members of the Working Group including him (Jaitley). He said that the cross border terrorism is an important factor supporting militancy in J&K and it suits the separatist leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani for whom their politics survives only if Kashmir remains tense. He said the concessions can be made to the common people and not to the separatists of Kashmir.
20.              Army Chief on lifting afspa: The Army is against thinning of troops in Jammu and Kashmir and has reiterated its position that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act should not be withdrawn from certain parts of J&K as has been proposed by the state government. Army Chief General Bikram Singh, who visited the Northern Command last month, is believed to have recommended to the Ministry of Defence that thinning of troops is not feasible at present given the delicate security situation in the state and the presence of terror camps and launching pads across the Line of Control (LoC). The Army’s position on the security situation in J&K has factored a spurt in infiltration from across the LoC. The numbers of attempts in the past few weeks have been substantially more than those that took place in same period last year. In the first fortnight of July, at least 25 militants are believed to have sneaked in. Over 600 militants are said to be present at launching pads across the border.
21.              Maharaja Ranjit Singh's haveli in Pakistan: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on July 24 sought the personal intervention of Prime Minister for conservation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's dilapidated ancestral haveli at Gujaranwala and "baradri" of Maharaja Sher Singh at Lahore in Pakistan. In a letter to the prime minister, Badal noted that "Sher-e-Punjab" Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the founder of the Sikh empire which extended from the Khyber Pass in the west, to Kashmir in the north, Sindh in the south, and Tibet in the east. He said that historical religious sentiments of people of Punjab were linked to these monuments.
22.              BMS launches new website: Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), the largest trade union organisation in Bharat launched its new website on the occasion of its foundation day on 23rd July in a function at Ernakulam. The BMS has over 8.3 million members and currently around 5860 unions are affiliated to it. The website was formally inaugurated by Shijin, an Auto driver also Joint Secretary of Auto Union. More than 400 people belonging to 12 unions attended the programme.
23.              SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Visitors: Shri Sandeep Lad, Shri Paven Sharma, Shri Sunil Pala, Susri Sita Morar, Susri Anisha Bhogaita, Susri Seema Saujani from UK.
24.              FOOD FOR THOUGHT: When the orders (for withdrawal) came, members of Rani of Jhansi Regiment sent a petition to Netaji signed in their blood requesting him not to send them back. They had come prepared to shed their blood and wanted to be given the opportunity to do so. – Dr. Lakshmi Sahgal, Indian National Army (INA).

Stars, not sun, predict monsoons accurately
Sandhya Jain
The Met office in Bharat, as elsewhere in the world, forecasts monsoons based on the Gregorian calendar. But that system has repeatedly proved unreliable. We must look to the nakshatras for solution.
According to the Hindu panchang, the month of sawan which along with bhadon comprises Bharat’s monsoon season, began on July 4; rains drenched this parched city on July 5. Was the monsoon on time, or ‘'delayed’ as the Met office kept lamenting? The Union Ministry of Agriculture was clueless how to reassure farmers who sowed the kharif crop too early. CK Raju, who played a key role in building Bharat’s first supercomputer, Param, and received the Telesio-Galilei Academy of Science’s gold medal for 2010 for discovering and correcting a mistake made by Albert Einstein, says the monsoon was similarly ‘delayed’ in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009, and 2010. Each time, the rains eventually belied the Met office’s predictions of drought.
This is because the Gregorian calendar on which the scientific community relies is not suitable for such calculations. Bharat must first decide if the monsoon synchronises with the tropical or sidereal year. The tropical (solar) year is the length of time the sun takes to return to the same position in the cycle of seasons as seen from earth, such as from one vernal equinox to the next.
It is not wholly synchronous with the earth’s orbit around the sun (sidereal, actual year) due to the precession of the equinoxes, and is around 20 minutes shorter (the difference can accumulate over long periods). Bharatiya astronomy rests on the sidereal year; a better method of timekeeping as the sun’s transit against fixed stars (nakshatras, for example, Dhruv-tara) is easy to observe and traditionally determined sowing and harvesting activities.
Europe was aware that it lacked the knowledge to precisely calculate the length of either the tropical or sidereal year, which Bharat knew from at least the third century. Hence the Gregorian calendar reform committee headed by Christoph Clavius tried to consult Bharatiya calendrical sources; just prior to the calendar reform of 1582, his student Matteo Ricci was in Bharat, scouting calendrical manuals in Cochin! The Gregorian calendar reform was needed because the Julian calendar fixed the length of the year very crudely as the Romans were weak with fractions; so the calendar slipped roughly one day every 128 years. By 1582 CE, it had slipped about 10 days out of phase in the 1250-odd years since the Council of Nicaea fixed the date of Easter by fixing the date of the vernal equinox on XII calends (March 21). By the end of the 16th century, the vernal equinox fell around March 11 on the Julian calendar.
The Gregorian reform corrected this anomaly by advancing the calendar by 10 days, and by making every centennial year not a leap year unless divisible by 400 (for example, 2000). It thus came closer to a more accurate figure for the fractional part of the length of the tropical year. The correction was vital for the practical purpose of fixing latitude from observation of solar altitude at noon, necessary for navigation which was then extremely important for Europe which lagged behind the Bharatiyas and Arabs.
Shockingly, after independence, the Bharatiya calendar reform committee adopted the Gregorian calendar and said the seasons depend on the tropical year! Superficially, the tropical year seems supported by astronomical treatises like Surya Siddhanta and PancaSiddhantika, but the passages have been misunderstood. Anyway, even prior to Varahamihira and the PancaSiddhantika, Aryabhata explicitly advocated the sidereal year; Marxist historians concur that Bharatiya agriculture was linked to the nakshatras.
Modern Bharat has not seriously studied the monsoons, though even today good monsoons drive the economy. The late Meghnad Saha believed heat balance alone mattered in configuring the monsoons; CK Raju thinks wind regime is the key, but says major research is necessary to establish a paradigm. The ancients coped by creating over 5000 panchangs, each ‘corrected’ to account for latitude (hence the Kerala monsoon arrives much before rains in Delhi) and longitude. There is a powerful cultural context here —the Bharatiya calendar revolves around the rainy season (varsha) as the year (varsh) relates to rain. It is eternally relevant for agriculture as poor calculations can wreak havoc through mistimed agricultural operations.
The Nehruvian quest for “scientific temper” led to slavish adoption of the Gregorian calendar for calculating the seasons and monsoon rhythm, though objective analysis shows that every year the monsoon arrives in harmony with the panchang, though ‘scientists’ keep bleating about ‘delays’. Refusing to learn from experience or history, they have ruined farmers and harvests.
The keynote of the Hindu calendar is the monsoons on which agriculture rests, and not summer or winter which may be relevant in Europe. Monsoons depend upon the wind regime. The global circulation of wind is not decided solely by the position of the sun. Hot air rises at the equator, but does not descend at the poles. Due to the Coriolis force, the earth’s rotation causes air to be deflected and to descend before the Horse-Latitudes (sub-tropical latitudes between 30 and 35 degrees north and south). Thus, the monsoons also depend upon the Coriolis force, which is an inertial force. Since the only possible inertial framework is one fixed relative to the distant stars, the Coriolis force relates to the sidereal motion of the earth, and monsoons relate to the sidereal year. Had monsoons related to the tropical year, the cumulative difference between the tropical and sidereal year would have put the Indian calendar out of phase. This never happened.
By forcing farmers to abandon the ancient nakshatra-governed seasons in favour of the tropical year, Nehruvian secularism and scientific temper have compromised our food security. An eerie coincidence that has facilitated the eclipse of agriculture from public consciousness is the virtual disappearance of rural symbols once associated with major political parties —cow and calf (Congress); plough and farmer (Janata, Lok Dal), while the sickle of the communist parties has degenerated into an offensive weapon. This is a telling comment on the growing urban bias in our polity and our distorted understanding of the economy, the adverse effects of which have already come to haunt us.
Two decades of liberalisation-globalisation and thousands of crores of ‘incentives’ later, the service and the manufacturing sectors have failed to promote growth or made a dent in unemployment nationwide. The economy is gasping for a good monsoon to lift it out of the present morass. Can we at least now trash the liberalisation-era myth that there is no link between agriculture and growth? -- The Pioneer, 17 July, 2012.

Christian Affront on Diwali
Viju Sidhwani, M.D.
Ever since we were young we attended the annual Diwali mela at South Street Seaport. Each year our family drove in to downtown Manhattan from the surrounding suburbs. Breathing in the panoramic views of the Big Apple, with the backdrop of a glorious sunset, we knew an evening of live dance performances, puppet shows and a display of exquisite fireworks bursting on a blanket of stars was soon to follow. This was our idea of Diwali.
Nearly every year I have enjoyed the crowds, delicious food and divine music that is characteristic of the street fair. However, this year for the first time I came across a group who prominently identified themselves as Bharatiya Christian missionaries. They came not for the purpose of enjoying the mela or for observing the sacredness of the occasion, but with the intention of converting Hindus and Sikhs to Christianity.
Among the other street vendors, this group set up a table to distribute Christian literature and free water to passersby. One person among them brought color-coordinated T-shirts proclaiming that Jesus is the only one. As the day progressed, the growing number of motivated evangelists infiltrated the crowds in the streets.
For much of the afternoon I saw them mobbing innocent visitors, foisting upon them bottled water and literature. I was handed a pamphlet by two men, one of them asking if I was interested in attaining peace. I accepted the literature and briefly perused it before asking them why they were preaching Christianity at a Diwali mela. One of the men rudely responded that America is a free country and that he had the right to freedom of speech. His counterpart cited the technicality that Diwali was over three weeks away and arrogantly added that his presence was not disturbing anyone because this was a community event open to everyone. I eventually told one of them that I was very happy being Hindu, to which he replied, “I’m here to offer you something better.” Turned off and insulted, I ended the conversation, indicating to them that their presence was unwarranted and their aggressive propagation of Christianity on such a noble occasion was impolite and indecent.
The competitive antagonism brought by the missionaries detracted from our festive celebration of the festival of lights as they made efforts to persuade members of our community to attend church and eventually convert to Christianity. Coerced conversion of faith is fundamentally offensive to the benevolent and peaceful dharmic traditions. While we as a unified community are pluralistic in our beliefs and encourage diversity amongst ourselves, we cannot welcome people who alienate us from our native ancestry and intend to annihilate a tradition that is thousands of years old.
Hindu and Sikh American youth need the opportunity to explore our culture and beliefs and to enjoy our festivals without facing intimidation by those who wish to lure them toward a belief system that does not accept our tradition’s antiquity, greatness and accepting nature.
On the auspicious occasion of Diwali, let us propagate the true spirit of love and embrace our brothers and sisters, be they of different faiths, on the condition that we are venerated to a degree that is commensurate with our benevolent outlook of love and acceptance for all.
Viju Sidhwani, 32, is a physiatrist and interventional pain specialist in New York City. -- The Hinduism Today Magazine Web Edition, July/August/September 2012